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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #1
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something better than a lavalier

I've just about had it with using a lavalier mic, the noise from the wire rubbing, the plosives, they're just a pain in the butt. I'm shooting music instruction videos and the subject is simply sitting in a chair talking and I'm about 5 feet away with the camera (Panasonic DVC-80)

Is there something else I can buy that isn't a lavalier that will pick up his voice well? (I do not want to use the onboard camera microphone)

Thanks!
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of high end shotguns on boom poles. Or you could use a high end lav with some real attention to how your talent is dressed, how you mount it to them, and how you direct them on the script / dialog. I have a G2 system and it's not very expensive and I have shot 6 national spots with it and have had great results. I'm not trying to be harsh here but lavs are used on major news cast worldwide, national interviews and spots every day. What is the equipment that you are using? How are you using it? There are a ton of tricks to good sound, give the incredible knowledge base here the specifics and they will guide you to what you need.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #3
 
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Are you using a broadcast loop on your mic? Moleskin? There is no reason the mic or cable itself should be making noise, even if the talent fiddles with the mic cable.
You can always put a shotgun or hyper on a stand-mounted boom if you're a one-man band, this works well in most situations too.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #4
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BTW you mentioned two problems that I have never experienced using lavs. Wires rubbing - use some gaffers tape and tape it down on the talent or they make little sticky pads that also work great. Plosives are all in the mounting and the talent, mount it on their coller and that shouldn't ever be a problem.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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What lav is it?
If you're getting voice xplosions you need to try a better position for your lav.
The talent should wear a shirt or jacket that won't cause russle or crackle problems, have a lapel you can clip to on the side they turn to or face. Try running the cable inside their clothing and listen on phones for any noises. Maybe their delivery is too quiet, can they speak up?

But you can get a variety of tiny pop filters from a sound shop to stop xplosions and BnH sell Rycote pads to surround lavs for noise protection.
Cheers.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #6
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It's an Audio technica mic, I can't remember the exact model, but I think it was $130.00 new a few years ago. It's not that simple to just tape it down or any of the other things. The subject is kind of over weight, and holding an instrument against his body so it's constantly rubbing against the clothes and the mic wire. It's just not a good situation for a lavalier.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #7
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Then it's time for a good shotgun mic and a boom pole and or boom mount. But at 130.00 your not gonna get great results either. Your looking at 500.00 for Pro sound. just how it is. If the mic can be in the shot try a Sure SM58 and a stand for around 100.00 great mic, but you have to be close.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #8
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Another forum recommended this:

http://www.tweakheadz.com/review_of_the_sm57.htm

If I mounted this inexpensive mic on a boom, would it need to be very close to his mouth (in the frame) or could it be above and out of the frame?

Ideally, I'd like not to have the mic in the shot..
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Old April 6th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #9
 
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In the words of a New Yorker....fuggedaboutit (no, I'm not from NY, but I've always wanted to type that phrase)

An SM57 won't give you much of anything at distance. Neither will an SM58.
I'll wager that a 10.00 stick on computer mic mounted to the subject's chest will sound better than an SM57 at 30".
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Old April 6th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for your insight Mr. Eagle! In this situation, what would you recommend I use as I don't want to use any kind of lavalier or anything in general that is touching the body of the subject.. The quality of the sound from the lavalier was just fine for our purposes, plus we were pushing it through a BlueTube.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #11
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With the type of video you're talking about I wouldn't imagine there being insurmountable problems here. What instrument(s) is the guy playing? it could make a difference to our suggestions.

I agree that a dynamic mic is not the way to go but is this not in a music studio? I have a small studio myself and I'm positive that any one of the five mics I have could get a result in this situation. There must be something to hand, whether it's a directional condenser/pencil mic, a cardiod vocal mic or a shotgun type. The thing is that with an instructional video you probably want to get in quite close with your camera anyway and therefore the mic can be pretty close too, perhaps just a foot or two above (and in front of) the presenters head on a boom stand. The other thing is that I would almost expect there to be a mic in shot for an instructional music video - I wouldn't think twice about it if there was one there, so I don't think you necessarily have to compromise if you're careful with the placement.

Last week I had to help a producer out. He wanted to replace a small section of interview/narration for a BBC documentary that he is extending for cinema release. We had to get as close to the original location sound as possible and did that with an Audio Technica studio vocal mic about three feet away combined with a lavalier. The producer was blown away with the sound of the AT and easily got the result he wanted but we could have used my Beyer shotgun or the Oktava MK012.

Coming back to the lavalier, I'm still convinced there must be a way of rigging this up. Probably up the back of a jacket and onto the collar - there should be no intervention then from arms flapping around or the instrument itself (unless it's a violin!). Perhaps a combination of the two methods will provide a good result and one where you can switch the mics in post if need be.

Good luck with it!

Colin
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Old April 6th, 2007, 05:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Costantini View Post
Thanks for your insight Mr. Eagle! In this situation, what would you recommend I use as I don't want to use any kind of lavalier or anything in general that is touching the body of the subject.. The quality of the sound from the lavalier was just fine for our purposes, plus we were pushing it through a BlueTube.

Jumping in here, how about a hypercardioid such as the Rode NT3, A/T 4053a, or AKG Blueline SE300/CK93 mounted on a tall boom mic-stand just out of frame above and in front of the talent at about a 45 degree angle to the lens axis?

But I'll also go along with the comments that if the lav is giving you that many problems there must be something wrong with the way you're rigging it and perhaps your wardrobe choices as well (easier to rig to a dress shirt than to a t-shirt). You can't just clip it on any old place on the shirt front and expect good results. The wire rubbing sounds can be fixed with a broadcast loop for strain-relief plus gaffer's tape, surgical tape, or moleskin to secure it to the back-side of the fabric under the shirt. The plosives are caused by air puffs from his breathing hitting the mic - position it over the sternum on the chest midline at about nipple level, add a windscreen such as the Overcovers or Windjammers made by Rycote if you don't have one from the manufacturer, and don't let him look down at the floor while he's talking - since he's addressing his audience he should look directly into the camera lens and that will go a long way in keeping air from hitting his chest.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #13
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We've had the same problem with talent doing a walkthru of the new catalogue held to his chest. He looks down as he turn the pages to point at things he wants to demonstrate. With a lapel mic as his head comes down even if it doesn't pop it still alters the sound dramatically.
I'd imagine someone giving instruction on an instrument such as a guitar would do the same thing. We've also had a problem with the catalogue itself hitting the mic and the body of a guitar could do the same as well as reflecting sound from the mouth into the mic and changing the colouration of the sound.
Don't think there's an easy fix for this with a lapel mic, just the problem of the mic being too close to a source that's moving around.
It could be that the mics a cardiod rather than an omni, so changing the type of lapel mic might help but I think it'd be better to get a mic further away from the source as others have suggested.

Last edited by Bob Grant; April 6th, 2007 at 06:03 AM. Reason: Fix spelling
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Old April 6th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
We've had the same problem with talent doing a walkthru of the new catalogue held to his chest. He looks down as he turn the pages to point at things he wants to demonstrate. With a lapel mic as his head comes down even if it doesn't pop it still alters the sound dramatically.
I'd imagine someone giving instruction on an instrument such as a guitar would do the same thing. We've also had a problem with the catalogue itself hitting the mic and the body of a guitar could do the same as well as reflecting sound from the mouth into the mic and changing the colouration of the sound.
Don't think there's an easy fix for this with a lapel mic, just the problem of the mic being too close to a source that's moving around.
It could be that the mics a cardiod rather than an omni, so changing the type of lapel mic might help but I think it'd be better to get a mic further away from the source as others have suggested.
I've used the Rode VideoMic to record someone playing guitar some feet away and thought the sound was fine. I had it mounted on the camera.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #15
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Ok, so if see some of my other posts, you might think I'm a Samson rep or something. Trust me, I'm just a satified customer.

Thinking about the problem and what I might do in the same situation, I see myself with 2 choices outside of the lav mic. One being a shotgun mic, on a mic stand, near the talent. (but out of frame) My second thought is about the Samson Airline Micro system that I have. It's got the plug-in lav option on the transmitter, but the transmitter also has a built-in omni mic. The transmitter is so small, that if the talent is using a music stand, or is seated near a table, (or some other object) then the transmitter can be hidden IN frame and might do a decent job.

Just my 2 cents!

Good luck!

Mark
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